Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Intentional or not, MLB’s steroid policy has been a massive money-saver for owners. In the Biogenesis case alone, $31 million in salaries were saved by teams. MLB even went so far as to threaten Alex Rodriguez with a lifetime suspension from the game, which would have saved the Yankees at least another $60 million on top of the $22 million the club retained in 2014—all before potential eight-figure luxury tax savings are accounted for. While suspensions without pay are far easier to justify for performance-enhancing drugs than they are for drugs of abuse, MLB and the Yankees attempted to go above and beyond the joint drug agreement in an attempt to bilk Rodriguez out of money he’s contractually-owed.
MLB needs to fix its incentives. It shouldn’t be hard. Just look at what the rest of the major sports leagues do with their suspension and fine money. Section 6 of Article VI of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement lays out a policy in which all fines and pay lost through suspensions are channeled to charity, with one half going to charities selected by the NBA Players Association and the other half going to charities selected by the league. The NHL directs its player fines to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, with a mission to help former NHL players who have fallen into poor health or dire financial straits. Similarly, all NFL on-field fines go to the NFL Player Care Foundation.
As for how things work in baseball? After 60 days in the drug program—according to the Los Angeles Times, it’s unclear if Hamilton exhausted these 60 days during his time with the Devil Rays in the early 2000s or not—a player is no longer entitled to salary retention even if he is in treatment. As such, a year-long suspension for Hamilton would save the Angels anywhere from just under $17 million to the full $23 million if MLB determines his treatment days have already been used up.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Worth reading all the way through.
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas—Detective Juan Guerrero pulled back the yellow blanket that covered Brad Halsey, a 33-year-old former major league pitcher. He inspected the cold body found at the base of a 100-foot cliff on private property near the Guadalupe River, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio.
No cuts or scratches. No sign of a struggle. No evidence of homicide, the detective concluded. Both legs looked broken, he noted, likely caused by the impact of a fall. Probably suicide, the detective said he thought early that Halloween afternoon.
Then Guerrero checked Halsey’s black Honda parked nearby. On the passenger’s seat he found a baseball glove, a baseball and a flier advertising pitching lessons Halsey was offering. No suicide note.
A week later, with an autopsy showing Halsey died from blunt force injuries, Guerrero told the captain of investigations at the Comal County Sheriff’s Office he thought Halsey likely died in an accidental fall. Yet the detective says he still wonders, and the case remains open pending the completion of a toxicology report. ...
Public records and interviews with former coaches, teammates and friends show Halsey was quiet, private, quirky, smart and witty. But his behavior changed as he tried to hang on to a fading baseball career and fell victim to prescription and recreational drug abuse.
Less than four months ago, police found Halsey walking chest-deep in the nearby Comal River and identifying himself as Lucifer. Officers had responded to a call about a man who fit Halsey’s description throwing rocks at people floating by on inner tubes and talking to people no one else could see.
Halsey said he was prepared to fight “Mitch,” but witnesses said they saw no other man. After Halsey exited the river and turned unruly, police put him in shackles and drove him to an area hospital for evaluation. The police report noted Halsey had mental problems due to drug use.
A few months earlier, according to two men who spent time with the former pitcher in the last months of his life, Halsey told them he had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The men also said Halsey made an outrageous statement, claiming he was on cocaine and other drugs when he gave up Bonds’ historic home run and had spent much of the $1 million he made during his baseball career on drugs.
Posted: December 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM | 16 comment(s)
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
They found Ken Caminiti 10 years ago this week, found him in a boarded-up, rat-infested hellhole in the decayed Hunts Point section of the Bronx, found him dead at 41, found him dead from a drug overdose, found him after he got busted by Houston cops a month earlier in Houston, found a legend finally put to God-awful rest by his demons.
I think about the former Padres third baseman every once in a while. Because I really liked him. Among all the athletes I’ve dealt with in my 43 years in this newspaper dodge, Cammy, much like the late Chuck Muncie, who fought similar malignant spirits, was among my favorites.
For guys like me, and those who loved him, he is missed.
Maybe because he was straight-up. There was something mischievous beneath that twinkle in his blue eyes. He was a matinee idol, a motorcycle mechanic by avocation, who parked his bike in the clubhouse. A father.
Ken had admitted he was an alcoholic, and heaven knows what else, long before his death, a mysterious demise only because of where it took place. There is an eternal unexplained reason as to what the hell he was doing in that New York cesspool on Oct. 10, 2004.
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